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Full text of "My country and my people"

STORY   OF   THE   SINO-JAPANESE   WAR       335
importunity and begging for mercy, of evasion and futile pleas for intercession, and useless crying over broken pledges, of final disillusionment and the decision to nerve herself to the new atmosphere of the household. Only complete cynicism saved her and taught her dependence upon herself. Thus it was that every step in her advance as a modern nation was due to a bitter lesson in disillusionment, first at the Versailles Conference, then at the League of Nations, and finally through a life-and-death struggle with Japan, in which sjie is compelled to defend herself or perish.
It can be easily understood that the mass inertia of a big, old country is tremendous, and progress was made only by successive shocks from the outside. It is fair to say that, on the whole, China did not choose to become a modern nation, but was } goaded into it. The sack of Peking in 1900 forced the ultra-conservatives out of the way and compelled the realization of the imperious necessity of reform, which finally broke up the Mancha Empire in 1911. The Versailles Conference in 1919, ' at which China was betrayed by her own allies, directly precipitated the student movement and marked the beginning of Young China to take direct part in national activities, a movement which culminated in the revitalizing of the Kuomintang and the establishment of the Nanking Government. The next betrayal at the League of Nations during the Manchurian incident in 1932 further forced the very healthy realization that China ultimately must rely upon herself and it was , from 1932 onwards that hectic preparations were made for national defence. Thanks to the uninterrupted goading of Japan in the years between 1932 and 1937, thanks to Japan's steady encroachment in Jehol, Hopei, Chahar and Suiyuan, the Chinese people were warned that their national independence was at stake, and continually kept at a point of boiling indignation and furious hatred, in which was finally bom the will to resist. It cannot be over-emphasized that the foundations for resistance against Japan by the entire nation, and the popularization and deepening of the will to resist, were laid pr took place in those years following 1932, years of bitter resentment and harassing disillusionment in which this book was written, years dominated by the thought that China